On the East Coast
of the USA, in the IntraCoastal Waterway (ICW), all bridges have a minimum 65', sometimes more, of clearance (mean tide) or the bridge opens for unlimited clearance. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ONE BRIDGE IN NORTH MIAMI
AND ONE IN NEW JERSEY
, which I think are 56'. So, in Florida
, you have to go outside Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) and back in Miami
to get around the N. Miami 56' bridge.
You can find larger cats with masts that were cut down for the ICW, which obviously has it's disadvantages, but worth it in my opinion. To live and boat on the east coast of the USA, without being able to use the ICW is not an alternative for me. The east coast of the USA is the only place in the world that you can duck in and out of bad Ocean weather
and continue your journey in protected waters on the ICW. What an asset to preclude yourself from with a 65'+ mast??
This subject is why I bought a Lagoon 380
, with a mast height of 58'. Perfect for the ICW, excepting N. Miami and New Jersey
The Lagoon 380
is "A" rated as a "Blue Water" boat. However, I personally am a D-. For that reason, I Love the ICW and couldn't live without it. Restaurants, Bars, Marinas
, Hotels, Shopping
and some of the best anchorages
you'll find anywhere in the world, all along the ICW. I've sailed from Titusville to N. Vero in the ICW doing 10 knots, in 1' river swells, during Northeasters. Move that trip out into the ocean, on the same day, and it would be like having someone repeatedly bunching you in the stomach all day. No thanks, who in their right mind wants that!!
Another issue with the ICW is draft
. Our boat draws 3'-9", which works great for the ICW. Most of the Florida Keys
is 5' depth
, as are a lot of other spots. So mono-hulls with 5' or 6' draft
don't like the ICW for obvious reasons.
My favorite ICW trip is from Brunswick, GA north. Wide open, virgin wilderness!!